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A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens {Book Review}

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~ Description  The story of Ebenezer Scrooge opens on a Christmas Eve as cold as Scrooge's own heart. That night, he receives three ghostly visitors: the terrifying spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. Each takes him on a heart-stopping journey, yielding glimpses of Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit, the horrifying spectres of Want and Ignorance, even Scrooge's painfully hopeful younger self. Will Scrooge's heart be opened? Can he reverse the miserable future he is forced to see? 

~ My Rating  5 stars 

~My Review 
Ahh, how could I not review this amazing story on Christmas Day? It's quite amazing. :) 
My family listen to an audiobook of this classic a few years ago and, to be honest, I didn't even like it that much. It was good, but not great. Then last Christmas, I read the book again (a super pretty, illustrated version that was a gift from my parents ;)) and...it was epic. 
Like, how did I miss half of this goodness before?! Sure, the whole visits-from-the-ghos…

Christmas Eve at the Backdoor by Rebekah Morris {Book Review}

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~ Description 
The Great Depression is in full swing, and Mrs. Kabrick hopes to make Christmas a special time for her children even though they don't have much. With the back door constantly opening and shutting, time flies bringing cold air, visitors, and a very special Christmas Eve.

~ My Rating  5 stars 

~ My Review 
Oh, how endearing and whimsical! 
Christmas Eve at the Backdoor was a delightful read. From the very beginning, with all the ties to the importance of back doors, I was pulled into the story and the joy and charm of a historical Smalltown USA. (I just love those stories, y'all. ^_^)
The Kabrick family's Christmas preparations are repeatedly disrupted by this and that, but they greet each interruption with smiles and keep the true meaning of Christmas deep in their hearts. 
Definitely one of my favorites by this author! <3 
~*~ 
Visit Stories by Firefly for more fun posts with the 12 Days of Christmas blog party! :D

The Proposal by Becky Wade {Book Review}

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~ Descrption  A cold night in Texas, a dream of marriage, a happily ever after....
Single mom Amber Richardson spends every holiday season working to give her young son the best Christmas possible and striving to ignore the empty chairs around her table, chairs she wishes her mother and father and extended family occupied. 
She'd hoped that this holiday would be fuller and happier than the rest. Her handsome firefighter boyfriend, Will McGrath, has brought immeasurable joy and love into her life. Up until recently, they'd even been talking about a future that included wedding bells. Lately, though, the wedding talk has been nonexistent and Amber can’t help but worry that Will's starting to have second thoughts.... 
Until a fire station surprise brings very good tidings.


~ My Rating 5 stars 

~ My Review 
What a darling little Christmas story! <3 
Prior to reading this one, I had read two novellas and a novel by Mrs. Wade and, while I enjoyed them, I didn't love them. Well...I…

Christmas Smiles by Rebekah Morris {Book Review}

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~ Description 
This was Laina’s second Christmas without her parents, who had died in an accident, and she was sure it would bering nothing but tears, because she and her aunt couldn’t seem to get along. When a frightening experience occurs, Laina, her cousin, and her aunt and uncle find unexpected cause for smiles.

~ My Rating  4 stars

~ My Review 
I've really enjoyed the stories I've read in Rebekah Morris' Christmas Collection! This was the fourth I've read, and the most recent. They're all really sweet little stories. :) 
In Christmas Smiles, pre-teen Laina is living with her aunt, uncle, and cousin, and feeling really unloved and unwanted. Laina was a very real character, with fears and struggles. I didn't connect with the aunt at first, but...let's just say she grew on me a bit. ;)
The farm setting and family situation was really interesting. I loved the family who owned the farm! They were all great and loving.
Definitely a great, short read! :D 

~*~ 
Visit St…

Red Boots by Kate Willis {Book Review}

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~ Description  Old Joey’s lips fell open in astonishment as he examined a pair of boots. They were bright red, standing out like a forgotten apple on an autumn tree. He whistled, long and low. “Red boots!”
A pair of shiny red boots bring unexpected Christmas joy to a shopkeeper and a little girl.
A very short story. (Approximately 8 minutes reading time.)


~ My Rating  5 stars 

~ My Review 
Red Boots was such a sweet little story, that touched my heart and brought a smile to my face! The authoress did an excellent job at transporting the reader to Old Joey's shop, and bringing the characters to life inside only a few pages. I truly enjoyed! <3 
Psst! This story is also permafree on Amazon Kindle, so you should totally go get it... *wink* 
~*~ 
Visit Stories by Firefly for more 12 Days of Christmas fun! =D

The Candle in the Window by Margaret Hill McCarter {Book Review}

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~ Description 
Tully wants more than anything to make his teacher smile. But no one knows that Miss Ravenstow is trying to escape the pain from her past. No one, that is, except Tod the mailman, who holds in his hands something far more valuable than a special delivery. 
Discover a very special Christmas story that opens the door for those seeking shelter from the pain of their past. Inspire your entire family with a beautiful portrayal of how a simple candle in the window can bring hope for the future and an encounter with the Light of the world. 

~ My Rating  5 stars 

~ My Review 
Oh my goodness, this story was just the most precious little thing ever!! ^_^ 
Last year, I won a giveaway of a bundle of audiobooks/dramas. This was included and when I saw that it was Chrismasy (and connected to WWI, according to Goodreads :D) I wanted to listen right away! Unfortunately, it slipped my mind...until this year. I got to listen to it back in November though, and I loved it oh, so much! 
I mean, c…

Mandie and Joe's Christmas Surprise by Lois Gladys Leppard {Book Review}

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~ Description  When she finds herself in charge of the Christmas Eve skit, Mandie, with Joe's help, tries to remind everyone of the holiday's true meaning by secretly gathering all the town's orphans and giving them parts in the play as well as a home in the church basement.

~ My Rating  4 stars

~ My Review 
Ahh, such a sweet story! 
I had read this little books several years ago when I read the entire 42-book Mandie series, and I re-read it last month with my reading buddy. It was really sweet! :) And Lisa. *laughs* Oh, Lisa. ;D
It's not a favorite of mine among the Mandie books (not a lot of mystery, here... xD), but still so good! Lots of Mandie/Joe moments for my fellow shippers out there, and the true reason of Christmas shows through very well. <3 
This book would be good for any age, whether you're a long-time Mandie fan or new to the series. A sweet lil' Christmas story! 

~*~ 
Visit Stories by Firefly for more blog party stops! :D

Esther Ashton's New Dress by Kellyn Roth {Book Review}

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~ Description 
Recently-orphaned Esther Ashton doesn’t expect much from Christmas with her brother away fighting in the South Pacific, her sister-in-law hospitalized with a new baby, and her job at the department store providing little to no profit. Will Esther have any sort of a Christmas or will it be another dud?
Esther Ashton’s New Dress, a Christmas short story, is sure to delight any fan of Christmas, the 1940s, and brevity.


~ My Rating  5 stars 

~ My Review 
EEPS, such a sweet little WWII story! :D
This weekend, I jumped at the chance to review this short story by an indie author. I ended up reading it the same night, and I really enjoyed it! 
At first, I wasn't really sure where the story was going (especially since it only had a couple of pages to play-out), but as soon as scene-two happened, I caught on. And the story was just so precious and sweet! <3
The WWII feel was very well done, and I just wanted to stay and hang out longer with these characters. Definitely recommended …

The Women of Christmas by Liz Curtis Higgs {Book Review}

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~ Description  A sacred season is about to unfold for three women whose hearts belong to God.  Elizabeth is barren, yet her trust in God remains fertile. Mary is betrothed in marriage, yet she is willing to bear God’s Son. Anna is a widow full of years, yet she waits patiently, prayerfully for the Messiah to appear in the temple courts.
Following in their footsteps, you too can prepare for the Savior to enter your heart, your mind, and your life in a vibrant, new way. Best-selling author Liz Curtis Higgs explores the biblical stories of Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna, unwrapping each verse with tender care and introducing you afresh to The Women of Christmas. 


~ My Rating  5 stars 

~ My Review 
This book is incredible. The amazing writing, the details in the Christmas story that I had never caught before, the rawness and realness of Mrs. Higgs... So good!
I read it last December/January (another Mom-recommendation! ;D), and I really enjoyed it. The writing is so eloquent and even lyrical. 
The auth…

The Christmas Star by Ace Collins {Book Review}

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~ Description
Robert Reed gave his life for his country in the early days of World War II. His sacrifice was honored when his widow and son were presented with the Congressional Medal of Honor. Each Christmas the final decoration Madge Reed hangs on the family s tree is that medal. Rather than being a symbol of honor for young Jimmy Reed that shining star represents loss, pain, and suffering. Yet a letter delivered by one of Robert s fellow soldiers and a mystery posed in that letter put a father s sacrifice and faith into perspective and bring new meaning to not just the star hanging on the Christmas tree but the events of the very first Christmas. Then, when least expected, a Christmas miracle turns a final bit of holiday sadness into a joy that Jimmy has never known. 

~ My Rating  5 stars 

~ My Review 
The Christmas Star was such a sweet, WWII-era story!! 
I grabbed this book from CBD awhile back, but I hadn't gotten around to reading it until recently. But I don't know why I wai…

As in Olden Days by Jesseca Wheaton {Book Review}

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~ Description  A prequel to the "Questions of War" series. Set during the Christmas of 1939.

~ My Rating  5 stars 

~ My Review 
If you have followed my blog for any length of time or if you know me, you've probably heard me talk about the Questions of War series. I love book-1, I love book-2 even more, and I'm not-so-patiently awaiting the rest of the series. 
But...then the mastermind author came up with a prequel novella, set during the Christmas of 1939 which just so happens to be the Christmas before the series begins....and I love it so much. <3 
The story is precious and sweet, humorous and endearing. If you've read the other books, it will probably mean even more to you. I read it for the second time last week, and I seriously teared up. Reading of a happy and joyous time in the lives of people who are soon to be hurt terribly by a world war was heartbreaking, and yet somehow beautiful. 
A definite favorite. <3

~*~ 
Visit Stories by Firefly for more 12 Days of…

The Purpose of Christmas by Rick Warren {Book Review}

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~ Description  Why is Christmas such a big deal?
If you stop to think about it, it is astounding that the simple, unassuming birth of a peasant baby boy more than two thousand years ago in the Middle East can today cause traffic jams every December in places like New York City, Tokyo, and Rio de Janeiro.
The night Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, a small group of poor shepherds were quietly tending their flocks of sheep in a nearby field, looking up at the stars. Nothing seemed any different from a thousand other nights. But what was about to happen would transform not only their lives but billions of other lives as well. The world would never be the same again. 
Regardless of your religious background, you need to know how the three purposes of Christmas solve your three greatest needs. 
Understanding and receiving God's Christmas gifts to you will transform your life...forever!

~ My Rating  5 stars 

~ My Review 
The Purpose of Christmas by Rick Warren was an amazing book. 
I was scour…

Behold.

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Behold. 
Its an interesting word, isn't it? 
A definition I found reads... "see or observe – a thing or person, especially a remarkable or impressive one..." 
To see. To observe. To soak up the presence of something worthy of noting. 
The Bible uses the word behold in many places, often to draw attention to something of specific importance. Matthew 1:23, Luke 2:10-11, and 2 Corinthians 5:17 are two of my favorites. 
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. ~ Matthew 1:23 
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. ~ Luke 2:10-11 
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17
This week, this month, this Christmas …

They're Rugby Boys, Don't You Know? by Natalie Vellacott {Book Review}

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~ Description 
Natalie Vellacott took a two-year break from her job with Sussex Police to join the Logos Hope Christian missionary ship. She was forever changed when, the ship having repeatedly broken down in the Philippines, she unexpectedly encountered and fell in love with a group of street teenage boys addicted to a solvent called "rugby." The dirty, wild, miserable, rabble were accustomed to hostility. Their curious approach in order to investigate the foreigners was cautious and sometimes abusive. Local Filipinos watched from a distance, fascinated yet fearful. These were the “rugby boys”--untouchable and invisible, even dangerous and definitely not worthy of time, attention, love and care. But now a small group of highly regarded foreigners seemed intent on drawing attention to them.
A true missionary story about Christian hope being brought to the hopeless in the Philippines... 


~ My Rating  4 stars 

~ My Review 
They're Rugby Boys, Don't You Know? is an inspiratio…

Sisters in Christ ~ Sarah K. ~ December 2017

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A wonderful for Saturday to you all, and welcome to the December 2017 edition of Sisters in Christ! Today we have Sarah Keatts from One Name as our spotlighted blogger and sister! <3 


Alright, let's introduce you to the readers, Sarah! :D 
Hey, my name is Sarah. I'm a homeschooled teen. I'm also a PK (for those who don't know, Pastor's kid).  I'm a follower of Jesus because after what He's done for me how could I be anything else? I love to love people... I want to show His love.  And I blog over at One Name.
Thank you! Ah, yes. I've been enjoying your blog. What inspired you to start one? 
I wanted to share what God had been teaching me to others.. I wanted to use my gift of writing for His glory. I wanted to encourage others. 


Did you read other blogs before starting your own, or was starting a blog what thrust you into this amazing world we call The Blogosphere? ;) 
Actually my blog was what thrust me into The Blogosphere. :)

That's so cool!! And…

Thanksgiving Psalm {2017}

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As I was reading my Bible on Thursday morning, I came across this passage while looking through Psalms for another Thanksgiving verse. It's a really beautiful chapter so I hope y'all enjoy. :) 

O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.  Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.  For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.  In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.  The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.  O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.  For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,  Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:  When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.  Forty years long was I grieved with…

I Have Been Blessed {Song Lyrics}

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When He moves among us, all that He does All of His mercy and all of His love If the pen of the writer could write everyday Even this world could never contain How I have been blessed
The warmth in the winter, the flowers in spring Laughter in summer and the changing of leaves Food on my table, a good place to sleep Clothes on my back and shoes on my feet I have been blessed

I have been blessed, God's so good to me Precious are His thoughts of you and me No way I could count them, there's not enough time So I'll just thank Him for being so kind God has been good, so good I have been blessed
Arms that will raise, a voice that can talk Hands that can touch and legs that can walk Ears that can listen, eyes that can see Oh, I've got to praise Him as long as I breathe I have been blessed

A father and mother who nurtured and raised Brothers and sisters, memories made Our pastor to lead us, the altar to pray Stripes that can heal, and blood that can save I have been blessed
I…